University of Rochester

EVENT: Graduate Studies Conference Explores Public Displays of Affection

March 22, 2005

The Visual and Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on the many aspects of public displays of affection will host 12 graduate student presenters on Saturday, April 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in room 1-101 of Dewey Hall on the University of Rochester’s River Campus. The program, which is free and open to the public, also will feature a keynote address at 4:30 p.m. by Laura Kipnis, professor in the Department of Radio, Film and Television at Northwestern University.

Kipnis is well-known for her study of the representations of love, sex, and marriage in American culture. She has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Yaddo. The author of three books, her essays and reviews have appeared in the Village Voice, Harper’s, and the New York Times Magazine.

Exhibiting a diverse range of topics, the conference’s presenters hail from around the world. Several study at other northeastern universities, as well as in Canada and Europe. The University of Rochester’s Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies (VCS) student papers include “Good Breeding: On Pandas and Public Sex in American Zoos,” by Lisa Uddin; “The Witness’s Burden: Shoot and the Subject of Violence,” by Kevin Goodman; and “Drive-by Filmmaking: Automobility and Re-mapping the Emotional Geography of Domestic Space in Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten,” by Hossein Khosrowjah. A paper also will be presented by graduate student Amira Richler from the University of Rochester’s English Department, “Oscar Wilde’s Queer Sensibility: From Subtext to Text.”

As the first graduate program of its kind in the country, the VCS program at Rochester uses an interdisciplinary approach through the humanities, arts, and social sciences to understand visual culture. VCS graduate students Aubrey Anable, Lauren Crabtree, Maia Dauner, Aviva Dove-Viebahn, Linda Edwards, Cynthia Foo, Mara Gladstone, Dinah Holtzman, Lucia Sommer, Claire Sykes, and Catherine Zuromskis organized and contributed to this year’s student conference.

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